Morey-St-Denis

Style - spicy, savoury, balanced, serious Those passionate about Burgundy tend to have a very soft spot for Morey and its wines. Often overshadowed by the bright lights of its neighbours Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny, it is a village that produces wines of great personality and individualism and right now is jam-packed with high quality, dynamic growers producing some of the best wines in the Côte de Nuits. It seems astonishing in today’s terroir-minded world that in the past négociants sold Morey juice as Gevrey as it was a much easier sell. This certainly did not help the village’s wines establish themselves in their own right. Locals are known as wolves as, so the story goes, a famine 1,000 years ago inspired those from Morey to go in search of neighbouring cows for food only to blame wolves for the missing beasts when accused by the cows’ owners of having eaten them. The nickname stuck!

Hectare-wise it’s a small village, especially compared to the likes of Gevrey, where there are five times as many hectares of village vines (over 300 compared to 64). It has twenty different 1ers Crus totalling just 33 hectares, which averages out at under 1.5 hectares per cru. A good pub quiz question would be to name all 20, as few are well known and many are often blended together to make a generic 1er Cru. This is not a reflection of their quality, merely the commercial and vinification difficulties of making tiny cuvées. The village has some fantastic Grands Crus which, curiously, are quite large in size by comparison. Clos Saint-Denis and Clos de la Roche are wonderful vineyards, which at their best can produce the most sublime Pinot Noirs.

There are also 2 large (virtually) monopole vineyards, the solely owned Clos de Tart and its neighbour, Clos des Lambrays, mainly owned by the recently bought Domaine des Lambrays but not technically a monopole, as Romain Taupenot has a small plot himself. A fraction of Bonnes-Mares lies in Morey but the vineyard is very much associated with Chambolle. Stylistically, there is a spice that runs through the wines of Morey, perhaps most exemplified by those from Clos Saint-Denis, the Grand Cru that gave its name, eventually, to the village. Whilst at the time there was great debate as to which vineyard should have this honour (it is normally the best vineyard in the village) perhaps it was decided by character as much as by quality in this instance.

Producers